Sunday, July 10, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 34 and 33

34. Ezequiel Lavezzi- Napoli were one of European football's best stories last year, and the Azzuri have much of that success thanks to the exploits of a dynamic front three.

With Hamsik creating from midfield and Cavani scoring the goals, Lavezzi was the third part of an attacking triumvirate as good as any in the Serie A. Blessed with fabulous skill, Lavezzi is a talented creator, capable of pulling something out of nothing, as his goal against Milan at the San Paulo demonstrated.

Internationally, Sergio Batista has elected to start Lavezzi in both of Argentina's opening Copa America games, with the Napoli man joining Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez in attack. Despite not enjoying huge amounts of success over the opening matches, Lavezzi is still likely to figure prominently in the latter stages of the competition; assuming Argentina get there, of course.

With Carlos Tevez set to depart Eastlands this summer, Lavezzi has emerged as a potential transfer target of Manchester City, a man whom Mancini sees as a potential weapon in next year's Champions League. While Napoli have moved to quash any suggestion of a transfer, a move could still be in the offing; it will be interesting to see how his future pans out over the next few weeks.

33. Hernanes- Arguably Serie A's top performing midfielder last year, Hernanes is a player of exceptional talent with an eye for a pass and the quality to pick it out.

Scoring eleven goals in league play, Hernanes is a huge attacking threat, a fine shooter of the ball who impressed all season long. Though Lazio eventually missed out on Champions League football, Hernanes deserves to be lauded for his efforts last season, the Brazilian was a consistent performer at the heart of Lazio's midfield.

Playing for Brazil, Hernanes was unable to perform to the level that he had shown himself capable of reaching; the creator was sent off in a friendly against France, and failed to make Mano Menezes' squad for the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.

After his brilliant showings last season, it is no surprise that Hernanes is a rumored target of a number of top European clubs, Barcelona and Milan are both said to be interested. At age twenty-six, Hernanes will probably be hoping to gain Champions League experience in the near future, rendering his long term future at Lazio anything but secure.

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